While the economy hasn’t yet recovered from the recession, Vice President Joseph Biden says things are looking up.
Biden spoke at the Committee of Seventy’s annual breakfast yesterday at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue. The independent, non-partisan, non-profit government watchdog organization invited Biden to the event because he “plays a leadership role in an administration that is changing the way government does business,” according to Chairman Daniel Fitzpatrick.
The event also hosted prominent Philadelphia leaders and Penn student performers.
In his official remarks, Biden contrasted the current state of the nation to its condition last year.
“What a difference a year makes,” he said. “The financial markets have finally stabilized … Housing has finally stabilized after a 36-month decline.”
Biden emphasized the significance of this point in time for the fate of the nation, but he said he was optimistic about the future.
“We’re at an inflection point in this country,” he said. “There has never been a moment when more has been at stake for America.”
He noted the administration’s determination to stay the course in its policies.
“We may be wrong,” he said, “but we believe in what we’re doing.”
Event organizers invited Penn a cappella groups Penn Six and Quaker Notes to sing at the breakfast.
“It was really nice to sing the national anthem,” said Penn Six Business Manager and Engineering sophomore Colin Taggart. “[Biden’s speech was] one of those things you can’t really experience until you’re there for yourself,” he added.
Quakers Notes president and College junior Katie Lindberg said the performance was her group’s most high-profile one during her time as a member.
“It was really exciting,” she said, “but we had to prepare for it very last minute.”
Many prominent politicians attended the event, including Gov. Edward Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter, City Controller Alan Butkovitz and Attorney General-elect Seth Williams.
Rendell and Nutter — who also spoke at the breakfast — both emphasized that the economic stimulus package was achieving positive results.
“The stimulus plan is doing well,” Rendell said, citing the budget deficit it plugged and the jobs it saved in Pennsylvania.
Nutter pointed to the Weatherization Assistance Program, a program he would announce later Monday that received $30 million in stimulus funding in order to create jobs and lower energy costs for low-income Philadelphia households.
“The economic recovery program is working, and it’s working right here in Philadelphia,” he said.
The Committee of Seventy is an organization dedicated to making government more ethical and efficient.
“What we hope to be in this region is the catalyst for true reform,” said Zachary Stalberg, president and CEO of the organization.Comments powered by Disqus
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